Egypt, EXIM sign electric train loan executive agreement

Prime Minister and Minister of Housing, Utilities and Urban Communities Mostafa Madbouli witnessed on Wednesday the signing of an executive agreement with the Chinese bank Exim to provide a $1.2 billion loan for the implementation of Egypt’s electric train project.

Investment and International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr and Transport Minister Hisham Arafat also attended the ceremony.

The agreement was signed on the Egyptian side by National Tunnels Authority Chairman Ahmed Fouda, and on the Chinese side by Exim Vice President Sun Ping.

After the signing, Arafat pointed out that the electric train project’s total cost is $1.2 billion, adding that it will includes 11 stations and serve 350,000 passengers. The old railways serve 1.1 million passengers.

Exim bank’s $1.2 billion loan will cover the cost of the project and serve the new cities of Salam, Obour, Shorouk, Mostaqbal and Robiki, as well as the New Administrative Capital, according to Arafat.

The Egyptian and Chinese sides had signed a framework agreement on the $1.2 billion loan, of which $739 million is with an interest rate of 1.8 percent and $461 million with an interest rate of 2 percent, which will be repaid over 15 years and have a grace period of five years, Arafat mentioned.

The basic agreement had been signed in September 2018, during President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s visit to China, Arafat stated.

He revealed that the planned speed of the electric train is 120 km/h and that the route of the project extends for 67.8 km, including 60 km on surface, 7.5 km on bridge and 3 km through tunnel.

The route starts from Salam City at Adly Mansour Metro Station and passes by Cairo Ismailia Desert Road until the city of Robiki, where it divides into two lines: the first to the north along the Regional Ring Road, and the other to the south reaching the New Administrative Capital.

The second phase is planned to reach the sports city at the intersection of Ain Sukhna Road with the Regional Ring Road. It’s length will reach 93 km, he added.

Arafat announced in December that the Transport Ministry signed a $1.2 billion loan agreement with the Export-Import Bank of China (EXIM) to fund an electric train project linking Salam City, the New Administrative Capital and 10th of Ramadan City.

Arafat said that the ministry would construct the first stage of the train project by the end of 2019.

Arafat added that the ministry would implement several train projects, including the al-Ain al-Sokhna-Hurghada-Marsa Allam-Luxor express train, in participation with the private sector.

President Sisi and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping signed an agreement in September 2017 to construct a $739 million electric train linking the 10th of Ramadan City and New Cairo with the New Administrative Capital.

In 2015, CCECC was awarded a $600 million contract from Egyptian National Railways (ENR) to update Egypt’s existing railway tracks.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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